Though Catholic leaders continue to attack same-sex marriage in Rhode Island, a group of over 100 religious leaders from 13 different denominations throughout the state has come together to support equality. The interfaith group outlines the following tenets in their endorsement of the freedom to marry:
- The most fundamental human need is the supportive love of other human beings, and that love is demonstrated in many ways.
- The arc of God’s universe is toward justice, and we are called from out of our faith to pursue civil rights and fairness for all people.
- The Divine, known by many names, does not ever side with expressions of hate or acts of discrimination.
- The misuse of sacred texts or traditions to deny justice is wrong.
- The freedom of religious belief and practice is paramount for a solid and healthy society.
- The individuals entrusted with civic authority should not impose their personal religious beliefs, or any one interpretation of religious beliefs, on society as a whole, nor use them to deny rights to peoples.
Indeed, the support for equality from people of faith highlights how fraudulent the “religious freedom” argument used by its opponents truly is. While the Catholic Church and others will be free not to solemnize same-sex marriages after a law passes, until then faiths that do celebrate those unions are not able to do so with any legal binding. If anything, a “religious freedom” argument benefits the pro-equality clergy, whose alliance is essential to achieving social justice for all same-sex couples.